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Evolving Patterns of Agile Transformation with Mike Cottmeyer

Dave Prior Senior Consultant/CST-CRM Specialist
Reading: Evolving Patterns of Agile Transformation with Mike Cottmeyer

Evolving Patterns of Agile Transformation

In this week’s podcast, LeadingAgile Founder and CEO Mike Cottmeyer shares his thoughts on how Agile Transformation has been evolving, common patterns of transformation and what steps an organization needs to take to become fit for transformation and to develop the optionality needed to fulfill the promise of Agile.


  • 08:00 Podcast Begins
  • 00:31 Topic Intro – How Mike’s view of Agile Transformation has been Evolving
  • 00:55 Mike’s Big Question for those who want to adopt Agile
  • 02:14 How do you quantify “legitimate business improvement”?
  • 03:29 What is needed to get Scrum to be able to be effective?
  • 04:00 How to get your organization fit for transformation
  • 05:19 Mapping out your transformation journey and organizational intentionality
  • 06:45 Expeditions and Basecamps
  • 08:00 Why having an Agile Mindset may not be enough
  • 08:41 Internalizing the Agile Mindset …. “I can have a kale loving mindset, but…”
  • 09:58 Carving the path to Agility within your organization
  • 11:12 “In order for the mindset to have a place to live…we have to align the path”
  • 12:15 The How of Transformation
  • 13:01 You need to systematically improve the system so you can start performing with more agility
  • 14:00 Understanding patterns of systematic Agile transformation
  • 14:51 A lot of the outcomes across Agile transformations are common
  • 15:20 Finding the intermediate outcomes that are leading indicators which show progress towards a stable transformation
  • 16:40 Consistent failure modes in transformation
  • 17:09 SAFe isn’t fundamentally the problem if you are missing basic organizational attributes
  • 17:50 The Evolution of Mike’s thinking about Transformation: We have to stop thinking about it like it’s some crazy black art to make the magic of self organization happen
  • 18:44 Can you predict the type of the transformation backlash that will occur and when it will happen?
  • 20:18 To an Agilist, having one way to do things may not matter, but to a client who is just getting started, it might
  • 23:20 “Transformation work can actually be somewhat scripted”
  • 24:15 If you’ve got coaches on the ground for 3-4 months and you haven’t formed teams… you’ve got a problem
  • 25:04 Do you have the influence to solve the problems?
  • 25:44 Why telling the organization that they just have to accept discomfort as a norm is not going to help, but getting them to a level of comfort with uncertainty is.
  • 28:04 If transformation is an ongoing thing, and change is now a constant within the organization, how do you still deliver for your customer?
  • 29:06 Everybody wants constant change and the ability to do stuff on their own, as long as they still get their paycheck.
  • 30:28 There has to be a structure and guardrails to keep the organization operating while they are changing and learning
  • 31:05 How this applies at a ScrumMaster level and impacts the teams
  • 31:56 The Transformation isn’t totally emergent or self organizing. There are proven indicators, milestones, etc. along the way.
  • 32:47 The consistency of change patterns across LeadingAgile’s clients
  • 33:15 Structure, Practices, Mindset and ?
  • 35:10 Scrum creates an ecosystem… that gives you the opportunity to change direction
  • 36:48 Understanding the value of having the option to change over having a defined plan
  • 38:22 Creating the stability and safety to have flexibility
  • 39:00 Changing the operations model and practices that offer optionality
  • 41:43 Mike’s up coming events at Agile 2017
  • 43:18 LeadingAgile’s Periscope and YouTube videos
  • 43:37 Podcast Ends


AGILE 2017

Mike Cottmeyer Sessions

Paul Argiry  Session

Rick Austin Session




Personal Blog:


For information on LeadingAgile’s upcoming public CSM and CSPO classes, please go to: Use the discount code: LA_Podcast to receive a 15% discount on the class.


If you have comments on the podcast, or have questions for the LeadingAgile coaches that you’d like to have addressed in a future episode of LeadingAgile’s SoundNotes, you can reach Dave at

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